1. What proportion of the £63m hardship funded the government reports it has disbursed to local authorities was received by DCC?
2. What proportion of this allocation has been spent and on what? What process is used to decide how the funding should be spent?
The funding was provided to Devon’s eight District Councils to use via their own local welfare schemes, as they have a good understanding of where the greatest need is and how it can be alleviated. The purpose of the fund is to provide emergency support with household essentials such as food and power and to support individuals longer term recovery and resilience. Approximately half the fund has been spent on these purposes so far.
3.How many Devon resident children are eligible for free school meals?
14774 pupils claiming Free school meals.
4. What would have been the cost of providing free school meals during this half term holiday?
The cost is £3 per head per day, therefore £44,322 per day.
The Devon recommended dates for half term this year were 26 to 30 October inclusive which is 5 days. To cover this period it would have added an additional £221,610 to the overall cost..
5. What discussions, if any, have been held by DCC councillors and senior officers as to whether to fund FSM for children during the school holidays?
Devon County Council has invested a total of £1m towards hardship support which, in addition to the DEFRA hardship fund grant, is being used to support families who are experiencing hardship. The outcome of recent discussions between Team Devon (Leaders and Chief Executives of Devon District and County Councils) are reflected in the following press release;
Devon pledges extra support for vulnerable children and families
Since the government announcement of extra funding Devon has made a further commitment Devon leads £2 million bid to end holiday hunger